Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Credit: Bill Moore photo

The Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary, Inc., one of only three orders of mostly Black nuns in the United States, recently headed to Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers not to abandon the nation’s poor.

The Harlem-based order, which was founded in 1916, met with members of Congress to place the needs of low-income Americans front and center in legislation. The sisters were in town for the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering Feb. 2 to 5 and joined other Catholic leaders in doing outreach to the legislature on Catholic priorities.

Members of the order met with Harlem Rep. Adriano Espaillat and aides to Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand as well as Rep. Eliot L. Engel.

The FHM yearly feeds 22,000 New York families with its St. Edward Food Pantry in Staten Island; that need for feed increased since Hurricane Sandy.